Note from the Editor

Found in the e-mail box on this sunny Sunday morning: "How does it feel to be in the ash bin of history? We won. Your thinking lost. Good riddance. On to killing terrorists; there aren't many communists left to kill. -- Rest in peace, Gipper. " Perhaps sensing that he had not made his point clear enough, this person sent a second e-mail: "Oh, I left out something; I am so glad that both terrorists and communists have one thing in common, they always kill the 'intellectuals' who buy ink by the barrel, like yourself, before they get to us simple minded ideologues. Here's hoping that, if you get your way, you will go to a 'reeducation' camp before I do. Idiot. " Well, always glad to contribute to someone's quality of life...but, irony apart, what a fitting introduction to this new edition for, coincidently, almost the entire content addresses the consequences of the actions taken by people whose thinking and deeds that individual epitomizes. What "we won" is properly described in Milo Clark's analysis of the imploding trends that confront us all. Perhaps, as Mr. Bush declared, "a shinning city awaits [Ronald Reagan], " but what the Gipper and his ilk left in their wake looks more like a cornucopia of dimmed lights and growing immiseration worldwide.

But let's not single out Mr. Reagan -- he represented and advanced class interests that were pursued long before and since him, in perfect bipartisanship; class interests whose results are ever more apparent in the fabric of our society and evident to many observers. As the 81-year old Kurt Vonnegut recently said, "...I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America's becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. [Our leaders] are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. " ("Cold Turkey, " In These Times, May 12, 2004.) Read Richard Macintosh, Phil Rockstroh (with another wrenching graphic by Angela Tyler-Rockstroh), or John Steppling's review of the last issue, for examples of our chimpanzees' legacy. What a "Win!"

You may wish to look into our poetry section but be cautioned, this time emotions fly real high in that corner... (You've been warned: do not complain!) Emotions also make Manuel García muse on what it means to him to be American -- and yes, thank you Ella Fitzgerald, Eugene V. Debs, Toni Morrison, and many others, for reminding us of the America we cherish. It's a very different America from that of Mr. Bush, whose agenda and ethics Peter Singer dissects in his latest book, The President of Good & Evil, reviewed by Jan Baughman. Plenty of letters; one that is particularly interesting on the anti-Nader crowd, and if you wish to understand the price of gas take a detour and visit Phil Greenspan.

You may or may not agree with some of the views that we present, but, thinking of that person's comments above, we at least are neither predators nor killers...

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Supply-Demand . . . . Implosion

I often cite Leopold Kohr's dictum that everything, every system, has its right size. When that right size is exceeded, implosion follows. We are deeply immersed in implosions.   More...


American Dreams

Phil Rockstroh:  Commodified Hell And The Poetry Of Dark Providence

Actions grow out of belief. Beliefs grow out of the ecosystem of our collective lives known as cultures. Cultures are organic in this way: they sprout, grow, bloom, bear fruit, and fade in accordance with the climes and terrain of their times.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  What Does It Mean To Be American?

"Are you an American?" I've been asked since I can remember and to this day. I'm never sure, let's just say I'm trying.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Rot

Hermann Broch, in his novel The Death of Vergil (sic), wrote about the cackling laughter of the street people and how this affected Vergil, who knew he was dying and had begun to question his life of service to his childhood friend, Octavian, who became Caesar Augustus. Beneath the gold and splendor of the Empire lay filth, death of the spirit and corruption:   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Unlawful Orders

The inquisitor's robes kept him safe
when the coals popped, sending cinders flying,
as he singed the flesh to excruciatingly exert
the confession from the heretic Christian.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Stay The Course

Keep lying, fabricating, prevaricating,
          Channeling the lies through sorry media,
Keep killing in the name of those lies;
Keep militarizing the lands, the oceans, even space;
Keep spending more and more on instruments of death,
          Depleted Uranium, radioactive death,
          Nuclear, hydrogen death,
          Cluster bomb death,
          Any death.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  Latest Epidemic: Gas Pain Syndrome!

Posters such as "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" and "HOW DID US OIL GET UNDER IRAQI SAND?" have appeared at many anti-war rallies.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Jan Baughman:  Peter Singer's The President of Good & Evil

Few writers have delivered clarity of analysis and the scope of information on the Iraq war as does Rahul Mahajan in Full Spectrum Dominance.   More...


Oldies but Goodies

Jan Baughman:  Bring Back Ronnie

[Ed. Folks, we are talking way back when Jan Baughman was poking fun at the lib-labs and their counterparts...and Ronnie was long gone. A September 1996 column.]

I'm bored -- real bored.   More...


Letters to the Editor


John Steppling's review of Swans' past edition; and comments regarding Louis Proyect on anti-Nader attacks; Phil Rockstroh and Michael Doliner perspectives on "friendly" torture; recent news in context; and Milo Clark's essay on Wahabism (with his response).   More...



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Created: June 13, 2004